Half of renters in the North-West unaware of fire procedures

Date published: 25 September 2017

Half of tenants in the North-West say they do not feel fully prepared on what to do in the event of a fire and 30% of those surveyed in the region feel more nervous/anxious about living in a rented apartment since the tragedy and the issues it exposed with regard to fire safety.

The research released to mark Fire Door Safety Week (25 September - 1 October), shows that since the fire in the West London block in June, over two thirds (82%) of landlords in the North-West have not been in touch with tenants in person to discuss fire safety measures.

Basic fire safety measures are lacking with over a third (38%) of renters in the North-West saying there is not a clear fire escape route displayed in their building, and nearly a third (31%) admit they have seen fire doors propped open. A quarter of renters in the North-West have noticed damage to their building’s fire doors and over a fifth (22%) of renters have reported a fire safety infringement or concern to their landlord but one in ten (8%) waited up to four weeks for a response.

Hannah Mansell is spokesperson for Fire Door Safety Week, BWF technical manager, chairwoman of the Passive Fire Protection Forum and a trustee of the Children’s Burns Trust.

She said: “This new research shows that social housing landlords and building owners still have a long way to go to meet their fire safety responsibilities. It is astounding to learn that in the last three months so little has been done to address the concerns of tenants and residents.

“Many people do not realise that the real job of a fire door is to hold back fire, smoke and toxic gases, delaying the spread around a building and keeping the vital means of escape route clear. They only work properly if they are specified, manufactured, installed and maintained correctly, and of course, closed when a fire breaks out.

“Checking fire doors should be part of a regular fire risk assessment. This should examine all aspects of fire safety management. There needs to be a total transformation of attitude towards fire safety of tenants in rented accommodation. Our focus for Fire Door Safety Week in this pivotal year is to ensure all landlords and tenants have the knowledge and resources they need to stay safe.”

This Fire Door Safety Week, the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) which runs the awareness week has put together a free downloadable toolkit of resources to help public and private sector landlords and their tenants with fire safety advice.

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